All Articles Tagged "millenials"
It started as a hobby, something I snuck away to do every now and then, a little something special just for me. This weekend, my hobby saw me hunkered down into what I’ve dubbed “my writing nook”, the little corner in my apartment in which I spend hours tapping into a computer keyboard, reading the day’s news, and getting a feel for what the world is talking about. Writing, you see, is my side hustle. What I do for pleasure, I also now do for pay. What started as the occasional blog post and short story for friends only is now a second prong in my career, complete with working primarily on nights and weekends, promoting my pieces on social media networks, and the keeping up with the go-go-go of being about my own business. That go-go-go is no different than the grind of a weekday nine-to-five and, lucky for me, both go hand-in-hand with building the skill set I hope will serve me through the trajectory of my career.
I once worked with a girl named Kelly who went as hard in her side hustle as she did in our office. Graphic design was her passion, she said, and the idea that she could turn it into profit (she provided freelance services for many well-known corporations) and add the experience as a bullet point on her resume provided a second wind of motivation. Kelly’s side hustle was a boon for her skill set, and it eventually landed her a full-time gig that more closely resembled her dream than the corporate world did.
It seems that more and more twenty-somethings comprise a Generation-Y workforce that keeps two sets of business cards, one printed for us by our employers and ones we have designed ourselves for the work we do on our own time.
As writer Larissa Faw noted in Forbes Magazine:
Today’s young professionals…aren’t easily categorized. I still can’t figure out what to prioritize on my LinkedIn profile. I am a journalist, marketing consultant, and co-partner for an internet company. All are equally important to my identity.
Perhaps that explains the little twinge I get when someone asks me what I do; I’m always compelled to make sure a person knows all that my career encompasses beyond my weekday title. Faw goes on to indicate that, “This generation of millennial does not identify with one company or career…[T]heir priorities are their own skill set.”
Side hustles are not just the stuff of dream chasing, but also indicators of the economy’s brunt on recent graduates and those looking for full-time work. For many, the extra gig is what makes the student loan payment every month.
Scan your social media profiles and you’re likely to find a friend or follower who is a personal trainer and a life coach and a blogger and a consultant and a web designer and a karaoke DJ and a photographer. Oh, and they’re working on their first novel. Last month, I wrote about being busy for busy’s sake and not being as diligent about having a full, well-rounded life as we are about creating solid careers. The side hustle is not the antithesis of that. It is, instead, a way of allocating our working hours to serve both our employers and our personal passions. It’s also not for a lack of focus. Millennials, it seems, are okay with clocking 40 hours a week at their full-time job and an additional 10-20 hours a week on a job that pays a few bills and brings them closer to their personal goals.
The concept of working for the same company from college graduation until retirement belong to the days of old, it seems. Perhaps the generational boom in professional versatility is due to Generation Y’s unprecedented access to resources that were once only available to corporations. Millennials are the first group to grow up connected, with Internet-capable computers in their classrooms and music available with the click of a mouse. Couple our seemingly in-built affinity for technology with social media, and we can build a worldwide sphere of influence without spending a dime on a marketing campaign.
The same graphic design programs once only affordable to big businesses with big budgets are now accessible to Kelly who can produce professional quality work from home. The aspiring film maker can now film and edit movies on his own and do it inexpensively (and preview the finished product on YouTube). For young professionals, the barriers to entry that once existed are all but extinct. Technology has likely triggered a shifting mindset as well. Our phones, our televisions, our music players and our computers have almost always been customizable. Why not our careers, too?
What’s your side hustle? How do you balance it with your full-time job?
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During a time when many might doubt the motivation and engagement of young people in philanthropy, Kezia M. Williams of Washington D.C. based non-profit organization Capital Cause is putting that stereotype to the test. As a part of the upward and well-mobilized millennial generation herself, Williams is changing the landscape of how young adults give back, meeting them where they are through popular social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.
Williams’ commitment and dedication to summoning a whole generation of future philanthropists to use their resources as a way to give back is revamping the landscape and stereotypes of service to the community. Williams and her team at Capital Cause are making philanthropy young and popular again for a whole new generation looking to find a fresh way to change the world.
Madame Noire: Capital Cause will be hosting their premier event, The Young Philanthropists Industry Brunch, in Washington D.C. June 30th. How did the event do last year, and what is your overall goal for the brunch this year, themed after poverty to raise awareness and money for the national and global issue?
Kezia M. Williams: Capital Cause is elated to be able to host the 2nd Annual Young Philanthropists Industry Brunch this year. Last year’s event attracted 250 young philanthropists, trailblazers and changemakers who were interested in connecting with senior level leaders in their industry over brunch. Guests at the 2011 brunch included industry representatives from Booz | Allen | Hamilton, the White House, Politico, and the Washingtonian to name a few. Attendees at the brunch selected two nonprofits doing work to reduce the educational disparity gap as beneficiaries of two grants. This year we plan to follow the same format; however we will increase the giving component and award three grants instead of two.
Annually, we ask our Young Philanthropist members to choose the cause that Capital Cause will donate its gifts of time and money to for the duration of the fiscal year. Last year, our members choose education and collectively worked to award five grants and donate 400 hours to local nonprofits. This fiscal year, in under six months, our Young Philanthropists members have donated $25,000, awarded five grants and contributed 3300 service hours to help end poverty, hunger and homelessness in the Nation’s Capital.
MN: What misconceptions have you received from others by working with millennials (for example, they are lazy, not motivated, do not care about the community, etc.), and how do you combat that as an organization?
KW: Capital Cause has witnessed our members deconstruct the myth that young people don’t care about philanthropy or giving back. They have proven this by demonstrating the power of small gifts by coordinating low-dollar, high-grossing giving campaigns, deconstructing the myth that only large donations and large donors count. They have demanded that Capital Cause plan more service events that show high and measurable impact in communities, deconstructing the myth that young people want less and give less time. Though we’ve only supported the DC Metropolitan Area, we believe their desires are representative of a larger millennial group that has been misrepresented and ill-defined when it comes to philanthropy. Young people aren’t disinterested in service; they are disinterested in participating in outdated service-based activities that don’t consider millennial interests.
Although the National Association of Colleges and Employers reported that college grads were receiving higher starting salaries for the first time since 2008, a Forbes report finds these numbers may not be true. The average of $50,034 a year that NACE finds is slowly slipping away and each month, the millennial generation of college graduates is seeing smaller and smaller pay checks.
Forbes reports that researchers with the Economic Policy Institute discovered the average hourly wage for male college grads from 23-29 is down more than 11 percent from 10 years ago to $21.68 in 2011. Although female college grads are seeing a lower drop, with gender wage differences, they’re still losing out big time. Young women are seeing a 7.6 percent decrease from 10 years ago to $18.80.
The report noted the situation of one 28-year-old advertising assistant who still lived with his parents due to his stalled salary. He had starting working in 2007 at $35 and his pay raise only recently jumped past $40,000. A Wall Street Journal report noted that one 2010 college graduate was obligated to take a position for less than $30,000.
It paints a difficult reality for many young workers struggling to work and pay back student loans. Lower salaries leave them with less income to pay down their debts and actively participate in consumer spending.
Despite the lower salaries, many of these millennials are simply relieved to have found work. Pew research observes that 37 percent of 18-29 year olds are still out of work.
There is some good news to the numbers, the report states that the average age-adjusted hourly wage for production and non supervisor positions has risen 3 percent across age and education levels.
The Job Interview
When it comes to interviewing for a job, many people know what to expect of themselves; to look presentable and professional, right? Well, you’d be surprised about how many people fail to even follow the most obvious of guidelines. In addition to not showing up to an interview with the proper attire, here are a few mistakes career newbies (and even older ones I’ve witnessed) have made.
Showing Up Way Early Too An Interview
This is a classic and oft-repeated mistake. The interviewee shows up half an hour to an hour early, not thinking anything of it. In fact, she might think that it conveys her eagerness. WRONG. What it does convey is that you don’t care at all about the employer’s time. Newsflash kids: when showing up to a place of business, know that business is being handled and you should not waste anyone’s time. By scheduling an appointment time, the employer sets up his/her day around that time and can’t be expected to move around his schedule due to your arrival.
Wearing Way Too Much Make-Up
Remember, you’re going to an interview, not the club. So in this case, it’s better to practice the “less is more” mantra. I once had a new grad walk into an interview with my boss with tons of foundation and blush, making her look like a clown. Needless to say, the caked-on make-up made less than a decent impression on my boss.
You might not know her name or face, but her brand is the future. Arielle Patrice Scott is a 22-year-old powerhouse. Using her undergraduate thesis from the University of California at Berkeley as the foundation, Scott created GenJuice, a network that connects 20-something bloggers with other 20-something bloggers, advertisers, and successful brands. With a re-launch of Genjuice on the horizon and a vision that includes being the creator of the next digital MTV (which she might have already accomplished), Scott stops here to discuss her past, the present, and her amazingly surreal future.
It is well-known that the concept for Genjuice began as an undergraduate thesis. How exactly did that thesis develop?
I used to invite my friends over for these get-togethers. We would meet-up and discuss how to start building personal brands. The meet-ups began to grow, but it wasn’t meant to be much of anything. Eventually, a group of friends and I decided to empower gen Y [generation Y] to become innovative through a national tour.
Two of my friends quit their jobs to go on this tour with me. We had nothing, but we rented a car and set out on this tour. On 10/10/10 we announced what Genjuice was and by then, we had over 100 contributors.
How different is the original concept of GenJuice from what it is now?
Genjuice now is very different than what Genjuice was. Originally, I wanted to build a blog network to help bloggers develop a personal brand. The more traffic the site received, the more revenue would be generated. Now, Genjuice is going to be re-launching in the summer. It is going to be a site that has all of the pop-culture content that is important to a 20-something. Users will be able to get everything they need from fashion to music.
You have built a very successful career on technology and innovation. What inspires you to be innovative?
Empowering generation Y to create good stuff. Inspiring them to go out there and build something. Being able to touch as many people as possible and encouraging and empowering them to create good stuff in that short window of time they have before real life kicks in. Helping the next generation of leaders inspires me to be innovative.
Springtime in Manhattan means many things from putting the Uggs away to getting the umbrellas out. But April also ushers in a special time where Hollywood power players descend from LA and mix it up with hipsters and other locals to peep the best in film during the Tribeca Film Festival. Already 10 years old, the Festival is an ever-expanding celebration of current creative expression via film while actively supporting those poised to take the future spotlight in filmmaking. To that end, Tribeca Film Festival’s (TFI) Tribeca All Access (TAA) program officially kicked off today marking its eighth year anniversary!
For those who may not know, TAA was created to help foster and nurture relationships between film industry executives and filmmakers from traditionally underrepresented communities. This year, ten young filmmakers from across the country were selected from more than 376 submissions to participate in TAA this year. New to this year’s program, participating filmmakers will also receive an initial $10,000 each in grants and are also paired with an advisor from the Producers Guild of America (PGA), in advance of the festival program.
Lucky TAA participants are offered a a whirlwind of panels, lunches, networking events and award ceremonies but a special part of the program also enables women and minority directors and screenwriters to obtain one-on-one meetings with more than 100 potential investors, development executives, producers and agents.
But what, you may ask, has all this got to do with millennials and digital media?
Well today as I schmoozed at the Welcome Lunch in a large, sun-filled room at the Time Warner Center overlooking Central Park, my suspicions were confirmed. One, TAA is a great opportunity for young filmmakers of color, so tell a friend (and if you’re a filmmaker, start thinking about applying for next year in order to get some leverage within a notoriously difficult-to-penetrate industry). Two, the intersection of filmmakers and the digital realm will only become more deeply entwined so you need to be prepared. Thus, with a cool transmedia producer named Caitlin (who had a major hand in “Avatar”) on my right and TAA Advisory Board member, digital fan and film director Reginald Hudlin (“House Party”) on my left; our table excitedly mixed it up non-stop about the power of digital cross-platform opportunities, the browning of our country and the future of film!
In fact, while Spike Lee and Tyler Perry go at it in the media; I couldn’t help but think during this luncheon that energy might be better put to use by these directors actually publicly contemplating and encouraging creation of a larger footprint by the next generation of filmmakers of color by using digital means to better create, market and distribute.
To that end, Henry McGee, President of HBO Video and a speaker at the luncheon probably summed it up best by saying that “digital is our destiny” from distribution to methodology. During his brief talk McGee noted, for example, that a whopping 1/3 of all Americans went to see a 3D film last year and that “clouds” will enable expansive storage while simultaneously contributing to the challenge of attracting and retaining audience attention for titles; given the increase and ease of access to film content. Of particular note is that the global box office is now made up of a viewing audience two-thirds of which is outside of the United States. This coupled with the fact that the U.S. Census numbers strongly reinforce the “browning” of our own country should finally create the need for a change in the persistent, largely homogeneous images previously force-fed to all.
While McGee seemed particularly impressed with the fact that statistics show that 1 out of 4 box office tickets were purchased by Latinos, I have to say I was a bit disappointed that he gave no love and no stats on just how many of those tickets are bought by African-Americans. Make no mistake, our demographic is quite unique because my research shows that it is consistently an influencer demographic meaning that, particularly within youth culture, our demo helps to greatly shape what is and isn’t trending. This is incredibly important to marketers trying to encourage a purchase. Further, given our behavioral inclinations, we’re also apt to see a film opening weekend given our “buy now” mentality.
At any rate, one thing is certain: we are inside of a new era where opportunities abound for those who are persistent and prepared. Don’t find yourself on the outside looking in because the stars are aligning in a way they previously have not. Visit tribecafilm.com for detailed information.
* Stay tuned for my re-cap from inside the next day’s event’s from TAA @TFI later in the week; and in the meantime don’t miss my footage in our Videos section to see all the latest in digital devices.
Recently the tech world has been absolutely buzzing about “cloud” systems and music. Amazon has charged ahead with theirs, claiming that they need no license from the record labels, and Google is reportedly, furtively, working on their own system as well. If so, this could be the latest power move from the tech scene which could make for yet more waves within the already turbulent music industry. But given that Black music has consistently been so coveted (helped by tech advances in ringtones to downloads) just how could this development affect the young artists behind the creativity and who constitute a chunk of our Black GDP?
But first, exactly what is a “cloud”, and how could it enable you, the average music fan, to access tracks from Nicki Minaj to Trey Songz? Essentially cloud computing means being able to access data resources on-demand via a shared pool of computer networks with little management effort or service provider interaction. You can easily access the information from, for example, a Web browser while the software or data is actually stored on servers elsewhere. The beauty of the tech model is that it provides one single point of access for computing needs. Think of it similarly to how you access electricity directly to your home from a complex grid system and doing so without any knowledge required of how the grid system works. You simply can tap into that electricity at any time into any room from the single point access of your home.
Now, visualize that same ability when it comes to obtaining to your music.
One purchase could mean access to any of your devices at any time, anywhere. Thanks to the “cloud”, you can upload and stream whenever and where you want. Naturally, the labels aren’t checking for this. In fact, an exec within the Universal Music system told me that while he could see that fans would love “clouds”, he’s not feeling the system because he sees how it could adversely affect sales. While the average consumer is far from concerned about the economic well-being of such huge music conglomerates; the real question is about artists’ earnings. Since they would be paid, largely, from the streamed model a “cloud” offers rather than multiple downloads, it could be a real negative. Artists make mere pennies on streamed music as opposed to full downloads. The upside, though, could be greater revenue from touring, advertising and further ancillary opportunities given the greater listenership clouds could offer.
Only time will tell how this development will play out, but one thing for sure is that it will have a huge effect on our artists and their ecosystems. There seems to be a need for a collective voice representing their interests specifically in order to help them better leverage the opportunities. In this era, it can’t just be about being an entertainment creative but rather about being a simultaneous digital business opportunist, particularly as a Black music artist.
So what do you think? Are you for the “cloud” or not? Do you see Black music artists as digitally savvy when it comes to their business or not?
Let me know below.
It’s undeniable that the past week has been all about Charlie Sheen. Whether you think he’s an erratic nut or a manipulative genius, you simply can’t deny his solid use of digital media to leverage his own voice. Able to control his agenda without edits or pesky interviewers, Sheen broke Guinness Book records by obtaining a huge number of fans and then built off that by using U-Stream to give both an inside look at strategy sessions and launch tirades against his former employers. In looking at it all, there are some hot social media lessons to learn from Team Sheen that I’d love to see more of our demographic use to reach a payday later as well.
It’s no secret that we out-index in terms of social media frequency and that our demographic is growing while that of the mainstream is shrinking. So I say it’s time to use such statistics in your favor not just to communicate between your friends but to create a real and defined personal brand that can lead to greater and greater power in the long-term.
You may have a lot of followers/friends; but the growing question is, what are you actually doing with them. How do you both benefit each other in larger terms? How much of an influencer are you? What do you stand for? We’re living in the age of digital notoriety and anonymity no longer works in the era of digital capital. We have a built-in active demographic, particularly on Twitter so it’s time for more of us to put that into play, particularly the younger demo.
You may want to begin to think about either what you know that you can teach or what part of your personality is so compelling that others will gravitate toward it and watch it and pass that video link to friends. Is is beauty tips and tricks? Is it comedy? Marketing? Medicine? Trend/fashion reporting?
Thank God much of the dreaded gate-keeper has been cut out so we have less of a reason for being shut out. Let’s use that avenue because if the numbers are there behind you, business magic can happen. I’ve seen a guy who really has no physical appeal talking about wine and football go from no views to thousands upon thousands of views to book deals to satellite radio to now consulting for wine selections for a restaurant. I’d like to tell these stories about young people of color. So here’s what’s needed to at least get started and then to persistently build:
1) on-line video – post early, post often. I’m an advocate of your own site/blog so that data can be captured but also channels on the top 5 video sites from Vimeo to YouTube to Metacafe should be worked in. Look at the metrics and see which ones people really checked for and which ones they didn’t. Repeat what works but keep stretching
2) Twitter – is your handle listed somehow within the on-line video so that you increase your followers? Are you giving your followers both insight into your world and information that helps them in a real way that speaks to the personal brand you’re building. If not, you’re missing vital Retweets and List inclusions. Think broader.
3) Comments – here’s one of my favorites. If you have an on-line video or blog post relevant to some larger topic, by chance, include a link to it within your larger interesting comment on whatever news or entertainment site you happen to be reading. People read the comment section, especially if it’s a heated topic. Many a link could come from that, and it creates further exposure for your personal brand.
There are many more methods but this is just a beginning. You don’t need to have a full on mansion, Good Morning America coverage and the Goddesses to succeed like Sheen (though I guess all that wouldn’t hurt); but you can use what you have; and chances are, that’s a lot. Create a solid digital footprint as early as you can. Look at it as an investment in your future.
Lauren DeLisa Coleman is a writer, host and thought-leader specializing in the diverse segment of the Gen Y demo, tech and its convergence with socio-economic concerns. She is also the CEO and founder of Punch Media Group, an edgy digital media and entertainment company which develops pop culture experience and branding strategy across digital platforms. Follow her @mediaempress
(New York Times) — NAME brands and luxury are still nice, but the latest generation to march down the aisle is all about making its wedding experience distinctive, memorable and personal. Couples want their nuptials to reflect their particular story, and brands are adapting marketing campaigns to account for a new set of tastes and needs. Instead of traditional must-haves like engraved invitations or sit-down dinners, the millennials — people generally in their 20s — seek touches that showcase their interests and personal style.